Otherwise it’s just a sparkling offset
From farms to fuel tanks, ammonia is evolving from fertilizer to fuel as a versatile vessel for decarbonization. We break down the latest announcements, from new ships and plants to consolidation plays.
In other news, Hertz shifts gears on its EV strategy, Kerry steps down from his climate envoy post, and AI helps discover promising new battery materials.
In deals, $90m for animal-free dairy, $50m for fusion, and $30m for resi solar and storage.
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Ammonia, the foundation for today’s nitrogen fertilizers, is gaining steam as a multimodal decarbonization pathway. The last few months have brought a slew of major announcements signaling ammonia’s potential future as a low-carbon fuel.
So what’s all the ammonia mania about? Clean hydrogen carrying capacity. Unlike hydrogen, ammonia stores and transports as easily as propane, enabling global clean hydrogen markets alongside other low-carbon uses.
Growing concerns today: Today, most ammonia is used for fertilizer. 70% of production is compounded into molecules that enable almost all crop production. The current Haber Bosch process relies on fossil fuels (~ 70% natural gas, 30% coal) and emits 2.4 tons of CO2 per ton of production—accounting for 1.8% of global emissions.
A fertile future tomorrow: But if and when hydrogen cleans up its act, ammonia’s use cases within the green economy are set to bloom.
Of course, beyond ammonia innovation, the world will still need fertilizer. The nitrogenous fertilizer market rose 12 percent in 2021 to $193B and is expected to reach $240B by 2030.
It ain’t all roses
But if we don’t get clean ammonia right, there’s no guarantee of positive environmental impact. Princeton scientists recently released a study warning against the perils of poor ammonia management:
Also, Ammonia’s high toxicity has led to occupational hazard concerns for seafarers who would face prolonged exposure onboard ammonia-powered vessels and already experience dangerous working conditions.
Emerging technologies can turn nitrous oxides back into nitrogen, but ammonia needs care and attention to stay clean and keep from lengthening the life of existing fossil fuel assets.
🥩 Perfect Day, a Berkeley, CA-based animal-free dairy developer, raised $90m in Series D funding.
⚡ Tokamak Energy, an Abingdon, UK-based tokamak fusion energy developer, raised $50m in Series C funding.
☀️ Soly Energy, a Groningen, Netherlands-based residential solar and energy storage installation platform, raised €30m ($33m) in Growth funding from ArcTern Ventures, Fifth Wall, Shell Ventures, and ABP.
🌾 FA Bio, a Harpenden, UK-based sustainable agriculture bio-products developer, raised £5.3m ($6.7m) in Series B funding from Clean Growth Fund, Pymwymic, and Ship2B Ventures.
🚗 Recurrent, a Seattle, WA-based used EV car reports platform, raised $16m in Series A funding from ArcTern Ventures, Automotive Ventures, Goodyear Ventures, Pioneer Square Labs, and Wireframe Ventures.
🥩 Sqim, a Varese, Italy-based mycelium-based technologies developer, raised €11m ($12m) in funding from CDP Venture Capital, ECBF VC, Kering Ventures, and Progress Tech Transfer.
🥩 Mush Foods, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based blended meats developer, raised $6.2m in Seed funding from Viola Ventures, Siddhi Capital, and TKH.
💨 Parallel Carbon, a Manchester, UK-based carbon capture with hydrogen production developer, raised $3.6m in Seed funding from Aramco Ventures, Counteract, Axon Partners, DNX Ventures, Voyagers, and other investors.
⚡ tibo energy, a Eindhoven, Netherlands-based smart energy management system developer, raised €3m ($3.3m) in Seed funding from SET Ventures and Speedinvest.
🔋 Rincell Corporation, a San Francisco, CA-based advanced battery cell developer, raised $1.2m in Seed funding from NextGen Battery Chem Ventures.
🏠 Furbnow, a Birmingham, UK-based energy efficiency and retrofit platform, raised £1.0m ($1.2m) in Pre-Seed funding from SFC Capital and Norrsken Accelerator.
⚡ FLEXeCharge, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based EV load and management solutions developer, raised an undisclosed amount in Seed funding from Greencode Ventures, Link Capital, and Vireo Ventures.
💨 Octavia Carbon, a Nairobi, Kenya-based direct air carbon capture developer, raised an undisclosed amount in Seed funding from Renew Capital.
🔋 Northvolt, a Stockholm, Sweden-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer, raised €902m ($986m) in Grant and Debt funding from The European Commission.
🔋 NineDot Energy, a Brooklyn, NY-based energy storage developer, raised $225m in funding from Manulife Investment Management and Carlyle.
🔋 Cactos, a Helsinki, Finland-based repurposed energy storage systems developer, raised €26m ($28m) in funding from Finnish Climate Fund and OP Finland Infrastructure.
🥩 eniferBio, an Espoo, Finland-based mycoprotein-based protein developer, raised €12m ($13.1m) in Grant funding from NextGenerationEU.
🌬 Aerones, a Riga, Latvia-based robotics for wind turbine maintenance service provider, raised €4.4m ($4.8m) in Grant funding from the EU’s Innovation Fund.
⚡ Zonduurzaam, a Deventer, Netherlands-based residential solar installer, was acquired by 1Komma5° for an undisclosed amount.
🌱 SupplyShift, a Santa Cruz, CA-based supply chain emission reduction platform, was acquired by Sphera for an undisclosed amount.
Carbon13, a Cambridge, UK-based investment firm, announced the first close of its €30m ($33M) fund that invests in early-stage climate companies.
Stepchange, a Seattle, WA-based investment firm, announced the launch of their new fund that invests in software-driven climate solutions.
Can’t get enough deals? See full listings and deal analytics on Sightline Climate
Hertz announced plans to sell a third of its U.S. EV fleet and reinvest in gasoline cars, citing low demand and high repair costs for EVs. CEO Stephen Scherr acknowledged that EVs will become the best rental cars, but they “may have been ahead of ourselves in the context of how quickly that will happen”.
US Climate Envoy John Kerry steps down to support Biden on re-election campaign, saying Biden’s re-election was “single biggest” factor for US climate policy. The former Secretary of State brought gravitas, political experience, and influence to a position typically filled by diplomats.
U.S. emissions decreased by 1.9% from 2022 levels, despite the economy expanding by 2.4%. The decline, primarily driven by reduced coal use in the power sector and lower energy use in buildings, was the first time since COVID-19 that emissions have decreased while the economy has grown.
Microsoft teamed up with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to unlock new battery materials with AI. The Azure Quantum Elements platform analyzed over 32 million materials to identify 18 top candidates, including a lithium-sodium material promising to reduce lithium usage in batteries by 70%.
BYD began construction of the largest 30 GWh sodium-ion battery facility for small EVs in Xuzhou, China. This follows several Chinese automakers' increased interest in sodium-ion batteries since CATL's 2021 reveal.
Northvolt received $986m in state aid from Germany to build an EV battery plant in Heide, Germany, a decision influenced by matching EU subsidies that prevented a relocation to the U.S. (and its juicy IRA incentives). The plant, with a 60 gigawatt-hour annual capacity, is set to start production in 2026 and reach full capacity by 2029. The state aid package marks the first time the EU has allowed individual state aid to match IRA subsidies.
Uranium prices surged to a 16-year high, as Kazatomprom, the world's largest uranium producer responsible for over a fifth of global output, cited sulphuric acid shortages impacting output. Meanwhile, nuclear demand heightened with the UK Government laying out its plan to quadruple nuclear power by 2050 to 24GW and China approving construction for four new reactors.
Hawaii replaced its final coal-powered facility with a 565 MWh battery. The Kapolei project is equipped with 158 Tesla Megapacks and replaces two critical functions of the former coal plant: providing immediate power on demand (capacity) and ensuring grid stability (grid services).
EPA announced $1bn to replace diesel buses with electric and low-emission buses, fueled by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's $5bn allocation for cleaner school buses. In the same week, Martinsville, Texas became the first district in the state to fully electrify their school bus fleet.
UK MP Chris Skidmore resigns over the Government issuing new oil and gas licenses and failing to deliver on their net zero strategy. In a sign climate issues aren't just a left wing concern, the MP stated: “There is now no economy without a green economy… The choice before us is whether to invest in the industries of the future, or to be tied to the industries of the past.”
O&G consolidations keep flowing. Chesapeake Energy merged with Southwestern for $7.4bn to become the largest natural gas producer in the U.S.
An ‘Oppenheimer’-style feature on Fusion ignition.
Cleantech Group releases their Global Cleantech 100.
Most startups fail, including these 5 cleantech startups that didn’t make it to 2024.
BCG survey finds consumers are willing to pay for net zero…especially in China.
The inconvenient truth – clean energy requires trade with China.
Our favorite data vis wizard Hannah Ritchie’s new book is Not the end of the world.
Britain is now the world’s fastest-growing wine region.
A cool $500M Stanley Cup, icing down to save the glaciers.
Wildfire smoke is killing killer whales.
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